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Few people enjoy the idea of a colonoscopy, but this important screening test can save your life.

Here’s what you need to know about why you should get a colonoscopy and how to prepare for one. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer death.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Colon cancer is a preventable and treatable disease, and the best way to find it early is with a colonoscopy.

In this article we discuss the colonoscopy procedure and the importance of this procedure.


What is a Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to closely examine the inside of your large intestine (colon).

A colonoscopy can help find ulcers, polyps, tumors, and other abnormalities. It can also be used to help diagnose and treat certain conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Preparing for a colonoscopy can be daunting, but it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

The most important thing you can do is to clean out your colon completely. This will help your doctor get a clear view and make an accurate diagnosis.


The Importance of Colonoscopies

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, yet it is one of the most preventable cancers.

A colonoscopy is a procedure that can detect precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

It can also detect early-stage colon cancer, when it is most treatable. If you are age 50 or older, you should get a colonoscopy.

If you are at high risk for colon cancer (for example, you have a family history of the disease), you may need to start colonoscopies at an earlier age.


colonoscopy risks - Why You Should Get a Colonoscopy and How to Prepare for One

How Colonoscopies Can Prevent Cancer

Colorectal cancer almost always develops from abnormal growths in the lining of the colon called polyps.
These polyps have the potential to grow slowly over time and become cancerous.

During a routine colonoscopy, polyps can be removed before they turn into cancer or before they grow through the lining of the colon.

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to get one more frequently.

Although a colonoscopy may be uncomfortable, it is a safe and effective way to prevent cancer.


What Is Colon Cancer

Colon cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the colon grow out of control.

The colon is a long, coiled tube that stores feces and removes water and other nutrients from them. Colon cancer usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps.

However, over time, some of these polyps can become cancerous. There are several risk factors for colon cancer, including age, family history, and lifestyle choices.

However, it is important to note that most people with one or more of these risk factors will not develop colon cancer.   

Other risk factors include inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

preparing for colonoscopy - Why You Should Get a Colonoscopy and How to Prepare for One

Crohn’s Disease Explained
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It most commonly affects the small intestine but can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract.

The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease often leads to abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, but it is important to remember that it is a treatable condition.

There are many different treatments available and working with a medical professional can help you find the best treatment plan for you.


Ulcerative Colitis Explained
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract.

Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Ulcerative colitis is usually diagnosed by a combination of symptoms, physical exam, and medical history.

If ulcerative colitis is suspected, your doctor will likely recommend a colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis.

There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, but there are treatments that can help reduce the symptoms and even put the disease into remission.



The Risks of Not Getting a Colonoscopy

Each year, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease, and more than 50,000 people die from it. But colon cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers.

If caught early, it is highly treatable. And one of the best ways to catch it early is to get a colonoscopy.

 colon cancer risk factors - Why You Should Get a Colonoscopy and How to Prepare for One

The Risks of Colon Cancer

While most people associate cancer with genetics or lifestyle choices, colon cancer is often the result of unknowingly carrying a polyp.

The risk of colon cancer increases as you age, which is why screenings are so important, but certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can also increase your risk.

If you have a family history of colon cancer, be sure to talk to your doctor about getting screened.

How To Prepare for A Colonoscopy

Preparing for a colonoscopy may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually relatively simple.

The first step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Once you have done that, you will need to make sure that you are not eating or drinking anything for at least 8 hours before the procedure.

This includes water, so be sure to stay hydrated in the days leading up to your colonoscopy.

Before a colonoscopy, your colon needs to be free of any solid matter and you will need to do a bowel prep the night before. This means that you will need to clean your colon by emptying it completely.

This involves drinking a special solution that cleans out your colon.

You’ll also need to follow a special diet for a day or two before the procedure.

On the day of your colonoscopy, you’ll need to arrive at the hospital or clinic where the procedure will be performed.

You’ll be given a sedative to help you relax. Once you’re asleep, the doctor will insert a long flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end in order to examine your intestines.

 colonoscopy colon polyps - Why You Should Get a Colonoscopy and How to Prepare for One


What To Expect During a Colonoscopy

First, you’ll be given a sedative to help you relax. Once you’re relaxed, your doctor will insert a long, flexible tube with a camera into your rectum. The camera will allow your doctor to see the inside of your colon.

During the procedure, your doctor may take biopsies (tissue samples) of suspicious areas.

The biopsies will be sent to a lab for analysis. Once the procedure is finished, you’ll be taken to a recovery room where you’ll be monitored for a short time.

 colonoscopy infographic - Why You Should Get a Colonoscopy and How to Prepare for One


Contact Dr. Schneider

In conclusion, although it may be unpleasant to think about, a colonoscopy is an important medical procedure that can help to detect potentially life-threatening conditions such as colon cancer. 

If you are over the age of 50 or have certain risk factors, it is recommended that you get a colonoscopy.

The good news is that the preparation for the procedure has gotten much easier in recent years, so there is no need to put it off any longer.

Dr. Schneider is a medical professional with many years of experience in the field.  His services include endoscopy procedures such as, gastroscopy, colonoscopy and video capsule endoscopy.

If you are concerned about polyps or colon cancer, talk to Dr. Schneider to book your appointment.

For further reading on the procedures we perform, please visit our website or contact Dr. Schneider on 011-482-3010.



The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.